Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bush Approval Rating: 42%

Newsweek has a new poll out with President Bush's approval ratings at only 42%.

61% of Americans disapprove of his handling of Iraq.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Al Gore

So Al Gore's news network, Current TV, launched this week into 20 million homes in the US. In addition to serving as a newfound media mogul, Gore is also on the Board of Directors for Apple, Inc. and a consultant to Google. He was on Leno tonight and he was relaxed, in good spirits, and even funny. It did, of course, get me wondering: what about another Al Gore candidacy?

It's not completely out of the question. Since he backed Howard Dean in late '03, Gore has quietly been building momentum with liberal activists. He's spoken of in some circles with the reverence that was missing the last time he ran. He's spoken out about the Bush Admin on many issues, especially with regard to foreign policy and Iraq. Even as he branches out further into the private sector, he remains actively engaged on political activities, such as addressing the US Conference of Mayors about Kyoto regulations ( and setting up his own appearances for his online following (

Of the candidates bandied about for a possible '08 candidacy, none stand out as the standard-bearer of the left wing of the party. Biden has been getting killed in the blogosphere for his banking industry votes, Warner is a rural, southern governor with little national exposure, and Evan Bayh is pretty red himself, and Wesley Clark can't seem to climb above the popularity plateau that he was stuck with through the '04 primaries. The one candidate that looks most likely to carry the torch is doing her best to center herself (you know who I'm talking about).

There are a lot of activists within the party that are waiting for a real contender to emerge, and many of those same activists ferociously cheered Gore's surprise endorsement of Howard Dean several months ago. Gore says he's not interested, but it looks like he's got his foot in the door at least enough to keep it from closing. We shall see.

More info on the TV network:

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Adios, Pataki

So Governor Pataki will not be governor again. But we knew that.

Continued speculation of a presidential run looms, as does my prediction that he forms an exploratory committee for a few months, raises some cash, then drops out to endorse the frontrunner (McCain?) and angles for a cabinet slot.

The article in the New York Times does mention a blast from the past ( a possibility for one of the statewide offices that Republicans are desperate to fill?); anyone remember Rick don't-get-too-close Lazio?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

NBC 10 poll: Huge leads for Duffy

Keeping with the trend, a new poll released by News 10 NBC shows Robert Duffy leading every category, well ahead in name recognition and leading likely voters in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

This isn't anything new, but the poll continues to show that Wade Norwood has his work cut out for him. To wit:


"Very Familiar"
Duffy: 56.5
Norwood: 27.1
Perinello: 22.1

"Somewhat Familiar"
Duffy: 33.3
Norwood: 37.2
Perinello: 22.1

Democratic Primary

Duffy: 53
Norwood: 21
Mains: 4
Undecided: 22

Duffy leads the undecided voters in terms of who they're "leaning" towards.

General Election* (likely voters)

Duffy: 82
Perinello: 9
undecided: 9

Norwood: 58
Perinello: 20
Undecided: 22

Mains: 47
Perinello: 26
Undecided: 31

*this poll asked about head-to-head matchups with Republican nominee John Perinello; however, Duffy and Mains each already have obtained a ballot line for themselves, so the general election could actually include two, three, or even four candidates

It's also worth noting that of the Republicans polled, Duffy leads Perinello 70-19. Each of the other Democrats trails Perinello among voters of the opposite party.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

nothing to do with politics, but...

The kids like Harry Potter. Understood. Every newscast in the country (check that, the western hemisphere) did a story about thousands of (probably sticky and whiny) little kids that dragged mom and dad to the store at midnight to get the new one, Harry Potter and a Half, or whatever it was.

Here's the kicker: JK Rowling, who can't write these things fast enough, made over 24 million pounds during the first 24 hours of the book's release. Check my math, but I'm fairly certain that's 42 million US dollars. In twenty four hours. Wow.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Duffy has early money lead

Bob Duffy is edging out Wade Norwood in the latest financial disclosures, with a total of $314,000 compared to Norwood's $283,000. The difference isn't major, but comes as yet one more indication (if small) of Duffy's dominance of the race. Polls show Duffy with greater name recognition and a lead at this early juncture, and these filings show him with more cash to maintain that lead.

Norwood's folks are countering with the fact that they gathered more petition signatures than Duffy, which is hardly relevant, considering Norwood had most of the county committee circulating for him and Duffy had to raise his own team of gatherers.

So is the race starting to get away from Norwood, the City Councilman who was once thought to be the surefire heir to Mayor Johnson? Not quite, but it's not going great for him either.

He was supposed to win the party designation; he put in the time cultivating the relationships with committee members and it paid off. Being the party's chosen candidate will be useful. But Duffy has higher name recognition as a result of his former position as city police chief. Norwood has run citywide before as a city councilman, but never in a much-contested race, and has therefore never had to campaign like he will for this race. Duffy is able to cite the name recognition and polls showing his lead (which at this stage are, for the most part, really no more than tests of name recognition) to donors within the business community and is able to raise money based on his lead.

The test now for Norwood is to begin expanding the race. He needs to get it beyond former positions and the "what I have done for the city" mentality, which Duffy is likely to win. If Norwood must shift the focus to what needs to be done and how the candidates will approach it. Norwood has the powerful organization of Assemblyman David Gantt behind him, and that will pay big dividends on primary day, but in the meantime he needs to convince more casual Democrats (and especially white Democrats on the east side) that he has a plan.

Duffy's manager, Molly Clifford, is an talented, experienced political operative. She knows that her candidate currently holds the high ground and that maintaining the status quo will leave Norwood still trailing by election day. Mixing it up will allow for unpredictability, and for Norwood to have a chance, that's what he will need to do.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Why Rove is a big story

Aside from merit alone, there are a few factors that seem to propel the Rove scandal that has captivated the White House press corps this week, at least according to Howard Fineman (Newsweek). Among them is the interesting notion that:

There is a civil war brewing within the MSM, and the Rove story is exposing it—and is fueled by it. Until now, the rivalry between the Fox and non-Fox worlds has been confined to cable, where Rupert Murdoch’s forces have all but overwhelmed the competition.

But now the broadcast networks are in the game, with some non-Fox reporters openly complaining about the White House’s effort to defend Rove by offering its legal spin to certain preferred reporters and news organizations. By dividing the press corps into Red versus Blue—and talking only to the Red—administration strategists are inviting attacks from one side.

He suggests others as well...